Monday, June 10, 2019


By Mary Kennedy                                                 

Ah, the long lazy days of summer. Okay, for many of us, they're not so long and they're definitely not lazy. But there is something special about summer; the tranquil breezes, the blooming flowers, the sweet perfume in the air, that makes us want to try new experiences and explore untraveled paths. By the way, this Eiffel Tower photo above was taken by my son.

Speaking of untraveled paths, this is Alecks, who is bi-lingual, exploring Death Valley. But you don't have to go far afield to start a new adventure and learn a new language.

There are so many ways to teach yourself a second (or third!) language. The most obvious way, of course, is through books and DVDs.
If you're motivated and the diligent type, you can set up your own study schedule and tackle whatever language appeals to you. You can even enlist the help of a friend who will be a "study buddy" for you. That's good for accountability and important for those times when you really don't feel like tackling French verbs.

Some people like to learn online at their own pace and there are loads of possibilities, both free and inexpensive.

Some people prefer the interaction with a group either in a structured class, offered by your local community college or learning institute.

Or if you like a more informal approach, you can try Meet Up and connect with people who want to learn the same language you do. 
One of my favorite online sites is French Word a Day by Kristin Espinasse. She delivers wonderful photos about her life in the south of France with a vocabulary section at the end. Her posts are always entertaining, insightful and make you want to hop on a plane for Provence.  I've been following her blog since she started it in 2002 and find it very helpful. It's fun and a painless way to stay "au courant" with French slang.

You can sign up for it right here. I look forward to every one of her posts.

Duo Lingo is also a fun experience and makes vocabulary and grammar almost painless. A series of tests and buzzers guides you through both beginner and advanced language studies. You'll find an amazing selection of languages and it takes only a few minutes a day. The secret is consistency. Don't slack off!

Choose whatever learning method suits your style and pretty soon, you'll be chatting away like a world traveler.

So whatever you choose, make a vow to start today and stick with it. You'll be surprised at how much fun you'll have and how enjoyable your foreign travel will be. 

Bon voyage! Mary Kennedy


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Joanne K. said...

This is an excellent idea, Mary! Thank you for listing various methods of learning a foreign language.